Replica Xicorr FSO M20.01 Hands-On

Xicorr is a young Polish replica watch brand committed to putting “made in Poland” on the map. We reviewed their first replica watch, the Circle, back in 2013. Though we found the overall design a bit divisive, we were taken with the unique aesthetic of the case and its solid build quality.  We were most impressed with the brand’s commitment to building their replica watches from the ground up, with all components, excluding the movement, designed in-house and made to spec. Eventually, Xicorr would like to sell replica watches entirely made in Poland, and though the company currently uses third-party movements–mostly from China–they hope to manufacture their own down the line.

In the meantime, Xicorr has been busy releasing a number of new models, many of them automotive inspired. Today, we’re taking a look at the Xicorr FSO M20.01, a replica watch based on the FSO Warszawa M20 car produced in Poland from 1951 to 1973 (it was the first post-war Polish car produced on a national scale). It’s a bit of an obscure reference, but one that lends itself to an intriguing design (and one that looks quite similar to Autodromo Stradale, which itself is based on dashes from Italian Berlinettas). The FSO M20 comes in four flavors: silver/black (M20.01), tonal grey (M20.02), black/grey (M20.04), and a sold out black/grey in a PVD case.
At €345, the replica watch isn’t exactly a no-brainer, but is it worth its asking price? Let’s take a closer look.

Case

The brushed stainless steel case comes in at 42mm, with a lug-to-lug height of approximately 50mm and a thickness of 12mm. It’s a chunky piece of cylindrical metal, but one that is well proportioned. Bezel aside, the case is actually quite similar to the one found on the Circle, which we were quite fond of in our review of that replica watch.

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In profile, you can see that the case goes straight down with clear demarcations between its three parts. All edges are rounded, giving the case a softer appearance. This is especially true with the angled lugs, which are rounded and jut out like little legs from the mid case. This gives the replica watch an overall turtle-like shape, with the push-pull crown–positioned between 3 and 4 o’clock–acting as the head. The crown, it should be mentioned, is designed to mimic the appearance of a tire, and features an engraved FSO symbol at its center. It’s the most stylized aspect of the case, and the detail I enjoy the most. Topping it all off is a flat sapphire crystal with an internal anti-reflective coating.

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The case back has 8 notches to facilitate removal, with the replica watch name, brand, and FSO symbol engraved on the back. Additional specs are engraved along its perimeter. Overall, it’s a well-executed case, albeit a bit bland when compared to other replica watches from the brand.

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Dial and Hands

This is where the replica watch really gets interesting. As I already noted, the dial of the FSO M20 is inspired by the FSO Warszawa M20 car. Specifically, the design pulls heavily from the car’s odometer/speedometer. Let’s start from the outside and work our way in. The surface of the dial is split between two areas: an outer ring and an inner surface. The outer ring is relatively simple, displaying the hours track in Arabic numerals. The inner surface is where the dial becomes much more interesting.

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First you have a minutes/seconds track with bars representing every value, except for every 5-minute interval which is indicated with raised half-spheres. Moving further in you have 4 concentric circles, adding a little texture to the otherwise flat dial. Flanking the hands are two faux screws, a detail that is true to the clocks inspiring the replica watch, but one that slightly cheapens the look of the dial. The painted on “screws” look inelegant, and I can’t help but compare it to the Stradale, which pulls off the same detail exceptionally by actually utilizing raised screws.

The hands are sort of a blunted dauphine style, with a line of yellow-colored lume going down the center. The seconds hand is unique in that it has a large metallic base, which stands out but isn’t an eyesore. The seconds hand is tipped in yellow lume as well. The overall design of the hands is certainly interesting, but arguably a bit counter-intuitive to actual time telling with the hours handing hitting the minutes track and the minutes hand hitting the hours track. That being the case, it hasn’t affected my ability to read the replica watch at a quick glance.

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One of the most interesting details on the dial is the application of the date window, which is positioned slightly left of the 5 o’clock marker. It’s integrated into a strip of numbers reading “1951”–a reference to the M20’s first production year–with the date widow appearing at the right end of that strip. The date wheel pops, being that it is white text against a red base. Overall, it’s a well thought out design, even if slightly kitschy. It should be noted that the print quality on the date wheel of the sample is poor, and a bit surprising given the rest of the replica watch. That being said, I found some user images of the replica watch online with perfect date wheels, so the review sample provided may very well be a production sample and not the final product.

Movement

At the heart of the replica watch is the Sea Gull TY-2130, which is essentially an ETA clone. My experience with the movement has been a positive one, with no issues involving timekeeping and general operation. I do think, however, given the price of the replica watch, a Miyota 9015 would be a better option, seeing as how it is now becoming the standard amongst micros and often inspires greater confidence from consumers.

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Straps and Wearability

The FSO M20 comes with two straps: one is a brown leather rally strap and the other is a black silicone strap. Both feature bright yellow contrast stitching. I love the pairing of the rally strap to the replica watch, though I’m not particularly fond of the stitch color. It’s certainly a matter of personal preference, but the replica watch has enough going on that I feel a subdued tonal stitching would have sufficed. Beyond the straps, the replica watch comes with an added spring bar tool and a metal case.

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On the wrist, the replica watch wears quite well. It stays true to its dimensions, but feels well balanced and comfortable. Being that the case back is flat, the replica watch lays snug against the wrist with none of the elements feeling obtrusive. It is a sports replica watch, so I wouldn’t go pairing it with anything you’d wear into the office. With that said, the M20 would make for a great summer beater.

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Conclusion

The Xicorr FSO M20.01 is a creative replica watch with some great design cues. Its fun to see a micro experiment and have fun with their replica watches and not simply produce homages to pre-existing designs. For that, Xicorr should be applauded. With that said, the M20 doesn’t fully sell me. My main issue with the replica watch (date window aside) would have to be the movement. At nearly $400 dollars, I’d much rather the replica watch be equipped with a Seiko or Miyota, even one of the lower tier ones. The peace of mind of having something tried and true would go a long way in making the replica watch more appealing.

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